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Looking for recommendations for a quiet PC case MIDI Processors
Old 12th September 2007
Lives for gear
Tubthumper's Avatar

Looking for recommendations for a quiet PC case

I'm running an "Allenstein" PC, built in 2004. I'm using an Antec Sonata case and man, this thing is noisy.

Just wondering if anyone can recommend a good quality quiet case. My budget's limited unfortunately....
Old 12th September 2007
Gear Nut

My Sonata 2 is dead quiet with all the noise reducing goodies - too bad they don't make them anymore.

Do you have an original Sonata?
Old 12th September 2007
Old 12th September 2007
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zemlin's Avatar

My Sonata is very quiet. My P180 is quieter. Where is your noise coming from? I have speed reducers on all the case fans, a fanless MBD, a fanless graphics card, and a PWM cooler on my CPU. My PSU is an Antec 650 Trio. My disks are all new SATA, and they are nearly silent.
Old 12th September 2007
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Tubthumper's Avatar

The Sonata in my possession is from 2004, perhaps an original model. It's got the standard Sonata power supply - supposedly a "quiet" model. AMD Athlon 64 single core processor, Zalman CPU fan, 2 x hardrives, etc.

The Zalman CPU fan speed is adjustable, and even on its slowest setting, the machine is LOUD.

These cases were spruiked as being quiet. Come on Antec - how is it possible for a case with 15 to 20 holes drilled into the side to be quiet????
Old 12th September 2007
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zemlin's Avatar

That's the same case I have. One other thing I did was put some dynamat on the panels to reduce "ringing". Other than that, rubber mounted fans and speed reducers is all I did. The newer Antec PSUs are a a lot quieter than what came stock in the old Sonatas.
Old 12th September 2007
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Tubthumper's Avatar

Karl, thanks.

First, what's dynamat?
Second, did you completely cover the holes in the side panel?
Old 12th September 2007
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zemlin's Avatar

The holes are open. Dynamat is a black tar-like sheet that's sold for treating body panels for car stereo installations. I bought mine at Circuit City. Covering a fraction of the area of a metal panel changes it from a GONG to a thud. Whatever vibration is in the case won't resonate on the side panels with Dynamat.

unrelated - I also bought some filter media at Lowes - 4"x12" strips meant for use in floor vents on forced air HVAC systems. A BAD idea for a furnace, but it works well to keep the dust out of computer cases. I trimmed it to fit in the removable filter on the bottom, and I surrounded the ANTEC holes at the top of the case (inside) with Velcro hooks. that filter media sticks well to the Velcro and helps keep dust out of the case. A hygiene issue, not noise issue.
Old 12th September 2007
Lives for gear
Tubthumper's Avatar

Cheers Karl.
Old 12th September 2007
I use an Antec P150, suspended HD configuration (with the provided rubber supports), with a Seasonic S12 PSU. CPU's cooled by a Ninja HS with a 12cm Nexus fan set to run at 7V using one of those resister adapters. The exhaust fan is another 12cm Nexus, set to run at 5V using the Seasonic fan adapter.

The PC is set in the corner of the room, on the floor, just over a metre from my head, and is virtually inaudible - my MOTU Express XT's internal PSU makes more noise.

One thing I've found is you really need to treat the walls/surfaces surrounding the PC, as this will happily reflect sound towards you. I've covered some rocksilk panels and put these in the corners to stop any sound coming from the back of the PC from being directed towards me. I've no problems recording in this room either.

Basically, as long as your HDs are suspended, all you need are large fans moving slowly at 5v/7v to have an inaudible PC once the case is closed.

The PaQ cases are apparently very quiet too.
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